are digital natives poor decision makers #mdfp


The FT do some fabulous podcasts The first part of the Digital business one this week is quite thought provoking. Peter Whitehead speaks about what he terms the "satnav generation" and how we may be placing too much emphasis on technical ability over context.

He explores the idea that the digital natives (those who have grown up in the digital age) have a downside insomuch as they are a “mapless” generation.  Digital natives can get from A to B beautifully and easily, follow the instructions; however they don’t know where they are.  They don’t have any context.   Peter extends this to the idea they can answer any question, but do not know where the information fits.  The point being that information without context is dangerous and na├»ve as growing up is the move from information and data to become knowledge and intelligence. 

He rounds the short piece off with the concept that digital native generation may be poor decision makers as they  become narrow and cannot see the wider context.

Whilst I am sure that the example given is true in some selective cases, and as any consultant will tell you, it actually all depends.  Yes this satnav generation can find data, some will stop at this point lifting their status from numb-nut to hunter whilst other will immediately understand or be able to get context. 

Foursquare could be a good example. One side of the service is you know where your friends are but also they know where you are and it is your social crowd that gives you context. They (your friends) will be able to say what is near by, check out this, go here, even search secret London  Surly the issue is not about the generation but rather those who don't have a social crowd to provide the rounding and diversity.

All generations bring up those who cannot make decisions, however the satnav generation with its public vocal voice may produce more blaggers than other generations.  Therefore for me, digital reputation becomes even more important.